The below is a reflection for ETEC 524, part of my Masters of Educational Technology. I was asked to
Explain your choices for interaction and communication, and how they foster engagement. Analyze your multimedia content and why the tool/technology you selected is the best way to present your content from a pedagogical perspective? Justify your design. Be sure to cite relevant literature to support your decisions.
The course designed was for a Grade 4 Technology Literacy Course. You can find the whole course by clicking the button below. If you would like to join, the google classroom code is g285jte.
INTERACTION, COMMUNICATION & ENGAGEMENT
As a brief review of the project, Grade 4 students are working in partners to create a project of their choosing from various Scratch “starter projects”. They’ll have 5 weeks to complete their game, at which point they will share their games with their peers and get to play one anothers projects in a final showcase. They also have the opportunity to comment on and copy to change one anothers games after the project is finished. There are a few key points in this projects design:
Scratch itself has numerous benefits for engagement, and has been shown to support engagement in students (Resnick, 2017, 2019).
The project follows Mitch Resnick’s ideas of the Four P’s: Students work on projects they are passionate about, working with peers while engaging in play (Resnick, 2017, 2019).
Partner work, and specifically pair programming, has been shown not only to benefit student soft skills, but is also advantageous for improving student performance both in short and long term scales (Smith, Giugliano, DeOrio, 2018; Papadakis, 2018; Burnett, 2016).
The final sharing of the projects, an e-folio style presentation, has also seen significant support in the literature with regards to authentic projects for students. The project created is one the students are passionate about, and they get the chance to share their finished product with peers and receive peer feedback in the end as well. (Gozuyesil, 2017). While authentic assessment has been shown to be less effective in primary settings, I still believe that an audience of student’s peers will improve engagement in student work efforts, albeit while not improving their performance directly, more motivated students perform better (Tokan and Imakulata, 2019; Ciampa, 2013), hence the decision to present their finished projects to peers.
As a reminder, the multimedia content created can be found below, or by clicking on this link.
A few key points pedagogically that relate to this design choice:
The content is not used to teach students how to use scratch directly, but rather indirectly. As Scratch game creator is an incredibly open project builder, on purpose, students can have difficulties “anchoring” their minds on a concept, or what is possible on scratch. By giving them a small view into the types of things that are possible with Scratch, it can give younger students something to “hang their hat on”.
The content is highly engaging. Anecdotally, I’ve found that students enjoy playing games (The revelation of the century!) and by starting the unit with an engaging game for students to play, they should be more hooked in to the project and want to create their own.
The content is created on the same platform that the students are going to be creating their game on. The game displays an exemplar project of Scratch programming for students to model their own game off of. While a major criticism of including exemplars is the risk of plagiarism (Newlyn, 2013), Scratch programming encourages kids to “steal for good”, as long as proper credit is given to the user where content was “remixed” off of. If a student doesn’t know how to create gravity, they can take a gravity code from another game, put it into their “backpack”, and then copy that code to their game. Once they share their game, they can give credit to users who helped them along the way, paving the way for collaboration and future endeavors.
Burnett, C. (2016) Being together in classrooms at the interface of the physical and virtual: Implications for collaboration in on/off-screen sites. Learning, Media and Technology, 41(4), 566-589
Ciampa, K. (2013). Learning in a mobile age: An investigation of student motivation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(1), 82–96. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcal.12036/epdf.
Gozuyesil, E., & Tanriseven, I. (2017). A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Alternative Assessment Techniques. Eurasian Journal of Educational Research, (70), 37–56. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login.aspxdirect=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1150242&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Newlyn, D. (2013). Providing Exemplars in the Learning Environment: The Case For and Against. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 1(1), 26–32. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login.aspxdirect=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1053990&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Papadakis, S. (2018). Is Pair Programming More Effective than Solo Programming for Secondary Education Novice Programmers? A Case Study. International Journal of Web-Based Learning and Teaching Technologies, 13(1), 1–16. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1161722&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Resnick, M. (2017). Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passions, Peers, and Play. MIT Press.
Resnick, M. (2019). Scratch3: Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play. Hello World magazine, January 2019.
Smith, M. O., Giugliano, A., & DeOrio, A. (2018). Long Term Effects of Pair Programming. IEEE Transactions on Education, 61(3), 187–194. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1192581&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Tokan, M. K., & Imakulata, M. M. (2019). The Effect of Motivation and Learning Behaviour on Student Achievement. South African Journal of Education, 39(1). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login.aspxdirect=true&db=eric&AN=EJ1210343&site=ehost-live&scope=site